#MakingAnImpact: Being More Than Just A Student Affairs Professional

Hello Readers,

As I am completing my fourth month as a new professional / graduate student, I can’t help but think about what else I can do to impact the community that is Western Kentucky University (WKU). Growing up, I felt that the purpose in life was to get a job and work, however, recently I have been asking myself “How can I be more than just a student affairs professional?” “How can I make an impact here at WKU aside from just going to class and doing the basics of my job?”

Although I am volunteering my time by getting involved in other areas such serving on the conference staff for a upcoming regional conference in 2018 or serving on multiple committees and although I feel I contribute a lot to conversations in my graduate level classes, I still think there is more that I need to be doing.

Being at an institution that allows so much autonomy, I feel that I should be doing more. It’s not everyday that a black, first-generation, LGBT male gets the opportunity to be in this position. To me, its not enough to be in a role and do my job correctly. It’s not enough to work with students that are from the same demographics as myself. If I really want to make an impact here at WKU, I need to do more.

As I was getting to know my colleagues in housing whom have been here for a while, hearing about what they are doing / have done here at Western really has me inspired. I know that I cannot do this just by sitting here. I HAVE to take action. Although I am afraid to fail, I have to take the risk. If there is anything that I have learned from the 24 years of my life, the worst that can happen is that someone will say no or that things will not work out exactly the way that we plan, but you are a failure when you don’t even try.

How do impact your campus as a student affairs professional?

Thanks for reading.




What Is Your Purpose?

Hello Readers,

With it being graduation season, I thought I would write a little something to maybe inspire some of the many graduates that will be or have already walked across the stage and received their diplomas and degrees.

When I decided to pursue Student Affairs as a career, I will be honest, my intentions were pretty selfish. Deep down, I wanted to do it for the recognition. I wanted to be seen as a important person, I wanted people to tell me that I matter to the world. However, I didn’t really know what my purpose was. I didn’t know WHY I wanted to go into student affairs.

In one of the organizations that I was involved in, my adviser asked me a very important question that I never really thought about, “Why do you want to go into student affairs?”. At the time, the answer I gave was “Because I think I will do a good job.”

It was at that moment that I realized that “Because I think I will do a good job” is a terrible answer that has no meaning. This answer may have had meaning back in grade school, but not when I am about to get into my field.

Being asked this question led me to ask myself many more questions:  “WHY am I going into student affairs?” “WHAT do I want to do with a degree and a career in student affairs?” “HOW do I want to impact this world?” and “HOW do I plan to do it?”.

To this day, I am still searching for the answer to some of these questions, but as I began my summer internship the following summer, these questions stuck with me and I believe they made an impact on my overall performance in the position.

I started to think about how I could impact this world through a study and a career in this field. Through my summer internship, I got to work in many different roles and get a taste of different areas that stem from student affairs such as Orientation, working with students from underrepresented groups and of course Residence Life.

From that experience, I was able to answer some of those questions that my adviser asked me that day. I discovered that my passion is playing a part in providing services to students. Helping students in anyway I can to help them through what could possibly be the most difficult challenge of their life. After reflecting on my personal collegiate experience, I discovered a passion for helping students that come from the same background as myself.

Today, I am so thankful that my adviser challenged me by asking me so many difficult questions. I feel like I have a completely new outlook on student affairs and what impact I can make on the students that this field serves.

Graduates, ask yourself this, What is your purpose? What will you do with your degree? How will you impact the world?

Thank you for reading.